British homes gain £57bn in year

Britain's homes gained £57 billion in value over 2012, bringing their total market worth back to levels seen in 2009, a property website has found.

The value of homes across the country has now reached £5.96 trillion, according to Zoopla.co.uk, which worked out the figure by combining the estimated current market worth of every home in Britain.

But three-quarters of the total increase seen over the last year came from the strength of the London market, with the value of homes in the English capital increasing by an estimated £42.4 billion.

Property values fared much better in England than in Scotland and Wales in 2012.

The overall value of homes in England grew by £64.8 billion or 1.2% over the year but fell by £1.2 billion or 0.3% in Scotland and by £6.6 billion or 3.1% in Wales.

Two-thirds of Britain's 250 biggest towns and cities saw property values increase over last year, with Bristol and Edinburgh also among the biggest gainers of 2012, recording increases of £2.3 billion and £922 million respectively, Zoopla said.

The increase in property values across Britain takes the total market value of homes back to the same level seen at the end of 2009. Homes gained £67 billion in value over 2010 but saw a £124 billion fall in 2011.

Despite the relatively flat performance of the market in recent years, the total value of all homes in Britain combined has risen by £1.9 trillion (46%) over the past decade, Zoopla said.

Zoopla spokesman Lawrence Hall said: "Even with the worst economic downturn in living memory over the past few years, the value of Britain's housing stock has grown a staggering amount over the last 10 years.

"It's hard to see if we will experience the same levels of year-on-year growth witnessed in the early noughties, but with overall values beginning to creep back up, homeowners should be feeling a little more confident."

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